Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Fabulous Fox

Happy Thursday, my loves!

This morning was the first day of school for 3 of my 4 cute gremlins.  Gremlin #4 and I will spend the day together cleaning up the house, running errands, and checking out what is left at Borders before it leaves our mall forever.  (50% off on photography books?  Yes, please!)

This morning after they had boarded their new buses safely, I checked my email, FB, etc. and found a great deal on tickets to something we had been wanting to do for 3 years now.  So I got them.  Happy 7th Anniversary to us! (A month late.  Hey, when your schedules are like ours, you take what you can get...)
Next month, we will be going to Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre to see:

WICKED will be the 11th time I have been to see a show at the Fox, and all but one of those were musicals. (The exception was when we went to see "An Evening with Tim Conway and Harvey Corman".  We were probably the youngest people there, but we didn't care.  I loved the Carol Burnett show!)
Other musicals I've seen at the Fox:

1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010

1999 and 2001
1997 and 1999

Ok, so "Stomp" isn't technically a "musical".  But it was a great show!

I want to take you back to my first memory of the Fox.  It's one of the most special memories of my whole life.  (And that's saying something.)

Picture a 15 year old high school sophomore, from a small town in West GA, head over heals in love with a boy.  Not just any boy. The boy.  Now picture that her parents have just given her permission to go on her very first date.  Ever. With him.  Boy's grandparents volunteer as ushers at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, a fine arts venue that she's grown up hearing about, but has never been to herself.  Boy saved up all his summer job money and got them 5th row center orchestra seats to see Phantom of the Opera.  (Dad comments later that the only way he could top that date was to marry me.  Which, 8 years later, he did!)

The street entrance to the Fox is pretty unassuming, although the architecture of the buildings sides are amazing and eye catching, with domes and arched windows like something straight out of Aladdin.  There's a marquee, of course, and the box office, but there isn't much outside to indicate the utter opulence that awaits the theatre-goer once they proceed through to the lobby.

Outside Atlanta's Fox Theatre
There are mosaic tiles everywhere.  Floors, ceilings, walls, you name it.  The bathrooms have gold gilding everywhere.  They look like Turkish baths and they aren't even called "bathrooms".  They are "lounges" and there is plush everything everywhere.  Velvet fainting couches and armchairs, enormous mirrors, and thick burgundy colored carpet that softens your steps, except where there are sections of those tile mosaics; a riot of color set in a sea of crimson.  That's just the lobby and lounges.  Once you get inside the actual theatre, it takes your breath away (again).

 These photos do not do the interior one shred of justice.  See that blue "sky" in the picture above?  It has twinkle lights all through it so that you are standing under a night sky, gazing up at the stars!  Stars!!!

Now, photography of any kind is not allowed inside the theatre during the shows.  This is an understandable standard procedure practiced by thousands of venues everywhere.  So you'll have to go back to using your imagination, with those two press photos as a reference point.  Imagine me, completely awestruck by all of this gold and red plush grandeur, sitting in (arguably) one of the best seats in the house, as the famous chandelier - which is an intrical part of the Phantom story and show- rises from the stage during the overture and rests 60 feet above, directly over my head.

This is the show chandelier pre curtain rise.
Imagine also, my horror and delight as it "falls" as though it might squash me altogether, at the end of Act 1 and "crashes" onto the stage!  There was nothing like it in the world.  That first experience at the Fox was like nothing I'd ever known.  It was a magical, glittering, wonderful night that I will treasure always.  "Boy" became "husband" and we saw Phantom every time it came to the Fox after that, including it's last run EVER last July.  I cried like a baby from the first line to the last note.  I sent a letter to the theatre's manager, telling them how much we loved seeing Phantom at the Fox and how sorry we were to see it gone forever.  I got the nicest letter back, thanking us for being Fox patrons all these years and inviting us to please continue enjoying other shows.  "Oh, don't worry," I thought to myself as I put the letter in my scrapbook. "I intend to!"

If you are ever in the Atlanta area, PLEASE GO HERE!!!  The building itself has a long and rich history; there are guided tours you can take as well.  If you are at all able, come and see a Broadway musical here.  You will not be disappointed!  As for me, September 22nd just can't come fast enough! :)


  1. Jenny - what a wonderful our of the theater - this show is going to be fabulous - I am jealous! Do you live in Atlanta?

    Enjoy your quiet time with you babes in school and the special time with your little one still at home~~


  2. Vicki- I live in West GA, about 30-45 minutes from downtown Atlanta (depends on traffic!) I'm halfway between Six Flags Over GA and the GA/AL state line, more or less. I love all of my babies, but I have been so happy to have them at school and just the youngest at home. She is a ham and a half! :) Only 2 school year cycles and then she will be gone too! Why do they have to grow up so fast?? :) I love hearing about the others days when they get off the bus. Summer is fun, but I'm ready for the seasons to change! :)

  3. Awesome. I got to see Phantom in Toronto for my 16th birthday. My grandma got front row seats for me and my cousin. It was the most amazing experience. Though I was a little disappointed by the guy playing the Phantom. I'd been used to the soundtrack with Michael Crawford and this guy was just so far below him in skill. Ah well. I'd love to see it again someday.

  4. I love this post!! I adore the Fox Theatre, and have been there many time myself, including Phantom, twice.